USAP Zimbabwe Profiles

Since it's inception in 1999, USAP has helped tens of Zimbabwean students get accepted to top notch colleges in the United States. Some have since graduated and are working in various fields in the United States and elsewhere around the world and some have chosen to remain in academia at various institutions in the United States. There are over a hundred USAP students from Zimbabwe alone and each one of them has an amazing story to tell. Below are brief profiles of some of our students just to give you a glimpse of our diversity as a people as well as the diversity of our their career paths and futures.

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CLASS 0F 2007

Admire Kuchena
Carleton College '07

Admire Kuchena Admire was driven into medicine by his love for science, and most importantly by the state of rural health care in Zimbabwe. It was, and still is incomprehensible to him that a lot of Zimbabweans do not have access to the fundamental basic right of health care. He writes, "Medical injustice in rural Zimbabwe has been largely ignored by responsible authorities and I strongly believe that it’s high time we start prioritizing and reforming Zimbabwe's rural health care."

Having been studying and living in the US for 4 years, and also spending a semester studying abroad in Denmark, Admire has been exposed to some of the world's most efficient ("although not perfect", he says) systems in practice and he longs to see the day "rural Zimbabwe will enjoy the same harmony." He graduated from Carleton College in June 2007 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biochemistry. Outside of class he was involved in volunteering at Northfield Hospital, tutoring chemistry, chemistry and molecular biology research, students' government, African students' organization, playing mbira, volunteering at an AIDS hospice, IM sand volleyball and IM Frisbee.

After graduation, Admire researched at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, multi-drug resistance and persistence of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. He is currently studying medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota.

Brighton Samatanga
Jacobs University Bremen, Germany '07

Brighton Samatanga Brighton is a molecular biophysicist currently pursuing his post-doctoral studies at Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster in Germany. He is currently investigating the mechanism (dynamics, conformational changes, cooperativity) of RNA helicases using diverse biophysical methods, primarily single-molecule fluorescence techniques (smFRET, smTIRF). Brighton graduated with a BSc. in Biochemical Engineering in 2007 at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany having specialized in protein engineering and downstream processing. He interned at Research Center Graz - Europe's leading biocatalysis institute. In 2008, he graduated with a MSc in Biological Recognition after a fast tracked study (finished a year earlier). During the MSc studies he specialized in molecular biophysics and computational biology. His thesis focused on the transport of drugs through the membrane.

In 2012, he completed his PhD in biological thermodynamics (Thermodynamics of protein-RNA interactions) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in Switzerland. During his PhD studies he also spent some time at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His general research interests centers on understanding mechanisms of protein-nucleic acid recognition in terms of thermodynamics, kinetics, dynamics and conformational transitions. Furthermore, Brighton has several peer reviewed publications. His hope is to realize serious scientific collaborations and engagements among scientists within and outside Zimbabwe.

Ranganai Gwati
Reed College, BA '07
University of Washington, MA, PhD '15

Ranganai GwatiRanganai ("Ranga") was born in Mutoko (under Chief Charehwa), and did his secondary school at Kagande Secondary (form 1 and 2), Mbare High School (ordinary level) and Harare High School (Advanced Level). It was at Harare High School that he developed a passion for Economics.

Through USAP, which he joined in 2002, Ranga applied and was awarded a full scholarship at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He was the first Zimbabwean student ever to attend Reed. At Reed College, Ranga majored in Mathematics-Economics, an interdisciplinary major designed for students who want to pursue graduate work in Economics.

Ranga graduated from Reed in 2007, where he was awarded the Gerald M. Meier award for distinction in economics, awarded to one or two seniors at Reed "in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Reed undergraduate Economics program". He stayed in the Pacific Northwest and pursued a PhD in Economics at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, focusing on International Monetary and Financial Economics. While at UW, he developed a keen interest in quantitative finance, and obtained a Graduate Certificate in Computational Finance offered by the UW Computational Finance and Risk Management program.

While in graduate school, Ranga worked as a teaching assistant and instructor for undergraduate economics courses at UW. He also spent four years as a data analyst in the Resource Planning and Forecasting group at Seattle City Light. Since August 2014, he has been working as an assistant professor of Economics at Benedict College in Columbia, SC.

In the long term, Ranga is interested in using his economics graduate training to teach economics at the college and Master's level (preferably at school in Southern Africa) , conduct data analytics and economic consulting for NGOs, small businesses and companies in Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular. Ranga also hopes to be involved in policy-oriented research to better understand (and potentially improve!) the Zimbabwean Economy.

Ranga is grateful to USAP for giving him the opportunity to pursue his academic dreams and hopes his training in Economics can generate huge positive externalities to the people of Zimbabwe.

Doreen Mashu
Ithaca College '07

Doreen Mashu Doreen is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Accounting and also working as an Auditor for Ernst & Young in New York City. Born in Bulawayo and raised in Gweru, Doreen aspires to see women from small towns and villages in Zimbabwe getting empowered both economically and socially. She believes that the unavailability of both social and economic opportunities to women in Zimbabwe is partly to blame for gender disparities that leave most women marginalized.

Her academic success (Phi Kappa Phi) and involvement in a number of activities at Ithaca College earned her the Ithaca College Campus Life Award which is given each year to no more than ten graduating seniors in order to recognize their outstanding contributions to the Ithaca College community through participation and involvement in campus life. She served as President of the Ithaca Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Co-founder and Co- Chair of Mauya African Student Association and a Resident Assistant. Under the leadership of Doreen, Mauya adopted Chiedza Child Care Orphanage in Harare and provided financial assistance for school uniforms, tuition and food items. While in college, she interned for Bausch & Lomb Finance Department and Ernst & Young Assurance Services.

Doreen hopes to use her business mind and knowledge to open doors for women in Zimbabwe and contribute towards eliminating barriers that make it hard for women to access economic and social opportunities. Doreen is the brains behind USAP Cares, an intiative to encourage students to do volunteer work, especially when they return to their home nations.

Tambudzai Shamu
Viterbo University '07

Tambudzai Shamu Tambudzai Shamu attended Viterbo University in Wisconsin where she studied Biology and developed an interest in knowing the core causes of diseases. After graduating she worked in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at MSKCC in NYC doing prostate cancer research. Whilst at MSKCC, she co-authored several journal papers and also won an award to read for a degree in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Cambridge in England. There she learnt a wide range of translational and pharmacological skills and her main work focused on optimizing the development of novel anti-cancer therapies. At Cambridge she sat on the university's Science Festival Committee and represented students on several other committees. Tambu currently works for the University of California where she is exploring cancer genomics and how best it can inform cancer therapy.

Simbarashe Marereka
Yale College '07

Simbarashe MarerekaSimba is an investment professional with extensive experience in infrastructure and project financing particularly Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); structured financing (ABS & RMBS) and lately funds management with particular focus on fixed income and unlisted alternative investments. He has worked in both the US and Australian markets. He currently works for Christian Super, an Australian superannuation fund that invests all its funds in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screened investments and actively participates in Socially Responsible Investments globally. Simba is passionate about Socially Responsible Investing or Impact Investing and has written several published articles on the subject including THIS one published in Australia in the Superfunds Magazine's May 2012 edition. He is keen to see Socially Responsible Investments drive the development of Africa going forward.

Simba is the co-founder of Seeds of Africa Fund, a non-profit organisation that provides scholarships to brilliant but economically disadvantaged students and provides educational resources to low income communities in Zimbabwe. He was instrumental in the formation of the eBillAfrica, a socially responsible company that provides secure, convenient and cheap online payment services for Africans in the Diaspora to pay school fees, hospital fees and household bills on behalf of their families and friends in Africa. eBillAfrica is dedicated to reinvesting a portion of the profits into low income African communities through education scholarships and seed capital to young entrepreneurs.

He serves on the Executive Committee of the Australia Africa Business Council (AABC), non-governmental organisation that seeks to promotes business networks, social contacts and increased trade and investment between Africa and Australia. He is also the current Vice President of the Yale Club of Australia.

Simba attended Visitation Makumbi High School in Zimbabwe and is a graduate of Yale University where graduated with Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences (Electrical). As an undergraduate, Simba co-founded the Yale chapter of the Colleges Against Cancer, and Asempa, an African singing group that celebrates and promotes African culture on campus through song. He was also on the board of Yale Gospel Choir and was an active member of the Yale Christian Fellowship. He was awarded the AACColades for Outstanding Leadership from Yale Afro-American Cultural Center in his junior year at Yale. He also holds a Masters in Applied Finance degree from Sydney Graduate School of Management.

Albert Chiwara
University of Pennsylvania '07
University of Michigan, PhD '14

Albert Chiwara Albert was born and raised in sunny Zimbabwe. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and he holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He is a Senior Data Analyst for HSBC in New York. Previously Albert worked as an Actuarial Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, UK and in Boston, USA. Albert is the author of the book "On the Meaning of Everything: The Hidden Secret behind the Eternal Philosophy of Life".

 

 

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